North Tyneside mum and daughter RNLI lifeboat team ready for Christmas on call

Anna and and Kay Heslop will be spending Christmas on call together at Cullercoats RNLI lifeboat station. Credit: RNLI

A mother and daughter team are on call this Christmas to help keep people safe at sea.

It will be Anna and and Kay Heslop’s first Christmas on-call together for the lifeboat team at Cullercoats, in North Tyneside.

Anna joined the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) station over a decade ago and is now a helm on the inshore lifeboat.

Mum Kay always supported her daughter’s volunteering and regularly helped out with fundraising at the station, but this year joined the operational team when she took on the role of volunteer lifeboat operations manager.

She said: "Before I became lifeboat operations manager at Cullercoats RNLI, I’d sometimes drive Anna to call-outs and one year she got paged around 4:40am on Christmas morning. I dropped her off at the lifeboat station and distinctly remember standing outside in the moonlight in my pyjamas!

"We’ll both have pagers this Christmas, so we could end up being at the station together again over the festive season. A call can come at any time and our volunteers will drop whatever they are doing, be that tucking into their Christmas dinner or opening their presents. At this time of year, the weather’s at its worst and lives are on the line.

"There’s no feeling quite like bringing someone home safe to their families – especially at Christmas. I’m immensely proud of all the lifeboat crew at Cullercoats but the team couldn’t rescue people without kind donations from the public which fund their kit, training, and equipment that they need to save others and get home safely to their families."

The RNLI said it has launched more than 1,200 times during the festive periods of the last decade.

In the North and East, RNLI lifeboats have launched 80 times and aided 36 people during the festive season.

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